By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - The father of seven Orthodox Jewish children killed in a Brooklyn house fire told hundreds of mourners at their funeral on Sunday that the only way he can survive the tragedy was "complete, utter and total surrender" to his religious beliefs. The grieving man, Gabriel Sassoon, spoke at a packed funeral chapel where white curtains separated hundreds of men wearing black hats and yarmulkes from women in modest dress. Only an eighth child, 15-year-old Siporah, and Sassoon's wife, Gayle Sassoon, 45, survived the blaze, which the Fire Department blamed on a malfunctioning hot plate that observant Jews use to heat food without violating the Sabbath rules. Around the corner from the charred home, the Fire Department handed out pamphlets titled "Fire Safety for Jewish Observances" as well as smoke alarms and batteries.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a lawsuit by singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren and his wife Michele accusing JPMorgan Chase of wrongfully attempting to foreclose on the couple's Kilauea, Hawaii home. The Rundgrens' lawyer, Gary Dubin, said the couple are still in their home and have other defenses to fight the foreclosure. Rundgren, set to begin a U.S. tour in April, is best known for such 1970s hits as "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw the Light." The Rundgrens' dispute stems from a $3 million refinancing loan the couple arranged with Washington Mutual Bank several months before the bank failed in 2008. Chase bought that bank's assets, including the Rundgrens' loan, out of receivership in 2008.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to Wisconsin's Republican-backed law requiring voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot, a measure Democrats contend is aimed at keeping their supporters from voting. The justices declined to hear an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law. The ACLU said it then filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court to try to keep the law from taking effect immediately. Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said the law cannot be implemented for the state's April 7 election because absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters but would be in place for future elections.